Do you have desires or mere wants?

In the book, Your Inner Child Is Calling, I recounted one of the episodes in the past saying, I had waited so long for this moment, the time when the lifelong dreams, which were once so vague, came true. I achieved everything I had dreamed of – education, career, life, and money. I once imagined such moment would be the happiest, but I was not. Life had not turned out as I once envisioned it.

I tell you, there was a missing piece in the puzzle, and I felt the urge deep within. That feeling of lack and scarcity raised the most profound question, what is the purpose of life? When I started pondering on life, my whole past was laid bare before me. I could, for once, see where I was wrong. I accepted it and decided to change things to improve my future judgments and choices in life. That is how I came to understand the big difference between wants and desires, and today, I would like to share these ideas with you. I am sure they will prove useful in certain areas when you want to make major life decisions.

This article addresses key issues in our lives – how to distinguish between desires and mere wants. The article concisely reveals major distinguishing characteristics between wants and desires. It also talks on how each plays a role in your life, and which is more important in acquiring a more fulfilling life . The article then shows you how to succeed in life by trading carefully between desires and wants. Finally, it talks about how to manifest your desires and lead the life of your dreams.

“If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.” – Jesus of Nazareth

There is a very thin line between wants and desires, especially for someone who doesn’t have a critical eye. However, with this article, you will come to understand that these two things hardly mix.

First, let’s analyze wants and desires.



  • Have you ever wanted something so bad but the moment you acquired it, you couldn’t even figure out why you wanted it in the first place?
  • Have you ever longed for something so bad, but the very moment it showed up you immediately grew tired of it?

Well, I am sure we all have. During our childhood, it was the norm for everyone. Children always want new toys, but the very moment they possess them, they lose interest. Eventually they grow tired, bored, and keep on wanting more. It is surely a bad habit but children always want their demands to be fulfilled, that’s human nature I guess.

Unfortunately, some people carry such bad habits to their adulthood. They constantly want things they rarely need. Shortly after the acquisition, they grow tired and want more things to appease their addictions. Is that how you lead a life? How long will you keep heeding to superficial wants and never take time to recognize your desires?

Want is something superficial to satisfy what is on the outside. It is what you see, admire, and wish to have, but there is no real energy or commitment behind it. A want may go unexpressed and sometimes you might even need a trigger to remind you of it.

For instance, a couple of days back I went to the supermarket, there was this little lovely girl crying over candy. She always picked one but  her father told her to put it back. She slowly returned the candy to the shelf and resorted to crying. That distraction made her forget about it for a while, but whenever she looked at the shelf full of candy, the idea struck her and again, she went for it. That is a want, her eyes were attracted, and she wanted to have it.

You also want so many different things in your life on daily basis. You may want money, love, expensive shelters, expensive attires,  fame, exotic trips, recognition and so much more. You may go out of your way just to have them. May be I should ask you a simple question, out of these things, which holds more value than the other? What do you really desire? Is there any real energy connecting you and the things you want?

Eyes can be treacherous. They see beauty in the world. However, the same beauty brings the sense of lack, envy, jealousy and all the negative feelings. Is it necessary? Do you have to want everything that comes your way?


“Every desire is the effort of an unexpressed possibility to come into action. It is power seeking to manifest which causes desire. That which makes you want more money is the same as that which makes the plant grow; it is life seeking fuller expression.” – Wallace D. Wattles, The Science Of Getting Rich

Desires are better and much more fulfilling. A desire is something that resonates with your heart. Normally a desire is already there, inside you, seeking expression through you.

Soon you will understand why recognizing and following your true  heart’s desires lead to personal excellence.

Think of anyone who’s talented in their own endeavor. Talented musicians have found their desires for expressing their feelings and touch hearts of many people through music. Talented teachers have found their desires for spreading knowledge. Just observe for yourself; you can see people who have found their heart’s desires and work to fulfill them. They don’t strain to do things, it comes more naturally because that force comes from within them.

Desires resonate with more energy, and if you follow your desires, you’ll commit to it. If you have a true desire, nothing else can distract you from achieving it. You don’t need triggers or moments of reflections to remember it. Desires never die away; they always resurface on your mind until you attain it.

It is time to observe a few keys facts about desires and wants. These facts will enlighten your mind to analyze if you really desire or want things in life.

“When I stopped dreaming, I stopped searching and life stopped giving me more. I could not take time to see the life I wanted; life stopped giving me more because it never knew what I desired. That is how life stops being a miracle. – Colin Mtita, Your Inner Child Is Calling

That is how I made a distinct demarcation between desires and wants. Let’s start with wants.

Characteristics of wants

  • Wants are superficial, unfulfilling, and not always necessary
  • Wants are short term, easily to attain and fulfil.
  • Wants bring more wants. You become slave of your superficial needs,  and that cycle is a bit tricky to overcome.
  • Wants are ways to fill the void of the lack and scarcity superficially without understanding what causes it on the deeper level.
  • Wants lead to frustrations, feelings of scarcity, lack, envy, jealousy and more.
  • Wants lack commitments and energy, which mostly lead to failure
  • Wants depends on where you are, changes with time and may even lose touch as you evolve to a more mature being.

Characteristics of desires

  • Desires are precious and priceless but attainable.
  • Desires are always sought with long-term goals, can’t be easily attained in short-term.
  • Desires, once fulfilled, makes your life complete.
  • Desires are like a perfect missing piece of the puzzle, when you find it your life improves.
  • Desires require efforts to analyze and meet them. In the end, desires lead your life.
  • Desires are constant, universal, in your world. Desires hardly change with time, age or become unimportant as you grow.
  • Desires bring deeper satisfaction e.g. a fulfilling career is a met desire
  • Desires can be fulfilling life, relationship and career, success, achievements, family love, knowledge

Do you want or desire success?

To succeed in life, it is important to be certain if you merely want or desire success. Have you analyzed what you really desire out of life? I know you want many things, but out of those wants, what are your true heart’s desires? What makes you stay awake at night as you contemplate how to acquire it? If you really desire to achieve something big in your life, your mind won’t let you sleep. It may keep you awake, sometimes for days. That is a desire seeking expression; you dream while awake.

If you need to succeed in life, you have to focus on what you desire and not so much on mere wants. If you are a slave to your wants and they control your mind, you hardly focus on what is important in your life. As I said, desires, once known, lead to excellence. This means, you’ll easily delay gratifications, which is mere wants, and focus on what is important, which is desires.

My personal desires are:

  • Share knowledge with people, especially those who need it.
  • Contribute to the society through inspiration
  • Lead a life that will inspire others to see that success is more than wants, but something that comes deep down inside.
  • Inspire the young generation to take control of their lives and understand the implication of their free will

What is your desire? Can you write it down?

Why desires hardly manifest?

Well, that is a good question, but the answer is simple – we always go for wants and we are less interested with desires. We are enticed with what we see. Isn’t it amazing that we love being unsatisfied and want for more? Well, you be the judge.

  • Desires are not known – desires hardly manifest because people do not know what they desire. Desires are powerful to seek expression but rarely sought after by many. If you don’t take time to analyze your desires, there won’t be magical means to unveil it.
  • Only wants are apparent – We seldom look at what we desire because our whole world is filled with superficial wants and we want quick gratifications. In the end, we fail to lead fulfilling lives, instead we go for a life filled with mere wants. How is that possible?
  • Thinking is painful – thinking is really the most crucial thing to divulge your innermost hidden desires; otherwise you will hardly know what you have inside you. However, as Bertrand Russell concluded, “Most people would rather die than think; in fact, they do so”
  • Lack of faith – desires are powerful. A desire can be so huge that defies understanding and have no reasonable ways to see how to accomplish them. This is where your faith comes to play. If you take steps towards it, the way opens for you. If you lack faith, as most do, how can it manifest?

How to manifest desires?

It is certainly not bad to want, but you must not waste time to want something if your desires are much bigger and better than your mere wants. Sometimes failures in life aim to redirect your efforts from what you want to what you really desire. If you are keen enough, you will always find your way.

How do you get to know and manifest your desires?

  1. Think – Take time and think of what you truly desire. That open doors to what you truly desire in your life
  2. Have faith and persist even in face of adversity. If you truly desire, it must be attained.
  3. Self-awareness – You must know yourself with all the weakness and strength
  4. Analyse your thoughts – See what comes to your head every time, do you envy or something deeper?
  5. Take action – Don’t be shy to go for what you desire.  In fact, it is a possibility seeking expresssion through you, so go for it
  6. Observe what resonates with you and can’t seem to disappear easily. That is a desire, go for it
  7. Turn it to a goal – Sometimes a want may also feel like a desire. As there’s such a thin line between wants and desires – turn any want to a goal, create plan, set timeline, and take action towards achieving it. If you achieve it, then it’s well and good. Just take advantage of every single opportunity that presents itself.

In my opinion, we take walk of faith through the journey of life, but we rarely look in to the right place. We are so much distracted with what our eyes see and miss the best parts of our lives. Eventually, that  fills our lives with constant misery of wanting more.

I believe that the secret to our live is hidden inside us. And that is place is none other than our own minds. If you take time to ponder on your life, you’ll discover it. Otherwise, you won’t discover what your true calling is. A want can resonate so powerfully with your mind, more like a desire, but at times, that powerful effect is due to hopeless lack and scarcity you have in your life. With time, the very thing that used to arouse your senses may seem banal.

Those who follow their true heart’s desires, succeed and fulfill their lives. Those who follow their mere wants may also succeed, but they never find satisfaction with what they have. The difference is, the desire asks how, and the want asks what. How leads to a quest for more profound answers, but what merely looks for superficial ways and never really grasp the meaning. That is how you end up wanting what you can’t have.

Life is abundant and simply gives you whatever we want. If you have a strong desire to achieve anything in your life, you will attain it.

Your life is unique, perhaps you don’ t know; but it is. If you want to lead a good life, take time and analyze your desires. If you desire a good life, you will apply the same principle in all areas of your life. Start today and do the necessary; this is the beginning of the best moment in your life, the moment when you will start to see the difference between desires and wants.

Tell us, Is there something missing? Please share and improve on our ideas. You know what? Ideas are always worth sharing, and this website is here for just that – to share quality and empowering ideas that improve our lives. How do you think we can improve on the quality of our articles to give you the best information?

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